June 14, 2017
Contact: Katherine Belcher
, (907) 683-9583
As the only national park with a working kennel of sled dogs, Denali National Park and Preserve is incredibly proud of its canine rangers and has unveiled a new video that spotlights the vital role these dogs have in park operations.
The "The True Heart of Winter" was created as an update to the 1999 "Winter Patrol" movie featuring Denali’s sled dogs. There are many aspects of the sled dogs' work in Denali that have not changed since 1922, when the first Superintendent purchased seven sled dogs. In honor of Denali's 100th birthday this year, we realized it was a great time to update the story of the sled dogs and highlight their important function within the park.
The video was produced by park staff and filmed largely by Kennels Ranger Jayme Dittmar, who just finished her graduate degree in media and journalism. Mountaineering Ranger Mik Shain was responsible for editing and compiling the raw footage. The short film offers a glimpse into the reality of what it is like to be out in the park in winter with the sled dogs. The intent was to capture the work supported by dog sled, and most of all, we hope it captures how lucky the park is to have these passionate, dedicated and inspiring canine rangers living and working in Denali. They really are the heart of winter in the park. We hope it inspires viewers to visit Denali and meet the canine rangers in person any time of year.
Visitors to the park can watch the video at the Wilderness Access Center, the Murie Science and Learning Center, the Eielson Visitor Center and the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station. The video also is available at the Fairbanks and Anchorage Alaska Public Lands Information centers.